Women’s Basketball Claims Win at Saint Mary’s To Hit 20-Win Plateau
Thursday, February 07, 2013
Story By Mark DeHaan/Photo by Sandy Palmatter
The Calvin College women’s basketball team traveled to Saint Mary’s College Wednesday night and continued its winning streak and perfect MIAA record against the Belles, earning the 84-54 victory. Calvin moves to 13-0 in the conference and 20-1 overall, while Saint Mary’s falls to 3-11 in the MIAA and 5-18 on the seasons. It marks the fourth consecutive year Calvin has hit the 20-win plateau, the eighth time under current head coach John Ross and the 14th time in school history.
The Belles kept the game close in the opening minutes, trailing just 5-3 a few minutes in. But, the Belles, who have struggled on defense this year, could not keep the Knights bottled up for long. A 12-2 run expanded Calvin’s lead to 17-5 with 14:00 remaining in the first half.
A three-pointer by senior Kelsey Irwin with 12:05 remaining put the Knights up 22-7. The Knights then began to exploit their height advantage in the post as senior post players Julia Hilbrands, Carissa Verkaik, and Ally Wolffis scored the next 21 points for Calvin.
Another trey from Irwin ended the scoring for Calvin as it headed into half with a 46-16 advantage. Hilbrands led all scorers with 13 points as she was 6-6 from the field. Verkaik added 12 points and six rebounds.
With the sizable leading coming out of the break, the Calvin bench saw extensive playing time in the second half. Matching up against the Belles first unit for much of the second period, the Knights held their own and continued to extend their lead. Calvin’s largest lead came with 6:45 remaining in the game on a layup by sophomore Hannah Acre that pushed the gap to 77-39.
The Knights played strong defense the remainder of the way, holding off the Belles en route to a 84-54 victory.
Carissa Verkaik led all players with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Hilbrands added 15 points on 7-for-7 shooting and seven boards. Irwin chipped in nine while sophomore Abby Vander Woude added eight. Shanlynn Bias led the Belles with 13 points and eight rebounds.
“From an offensive stand point, we did really well. Julia had a great game, didn’t miss a shot and had 15 points in 12 minutes. Carissa hit most of her shots and all three of her shots in the second half,” said head coach John Ross. “I thought we did a nice job, although we started off giving them four quick offensive rebounds, that we didn’t give them any offensive rebounds the rest of the half. And that is one of their strengths, holding them to ten with our second and third units, that was pretty good.”
The Knights now look forward to Saturday when they will host the Comets of Olivet, with tip-off slated for 3 p.m.